Follow by Email

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hezbollah Faces Disaster in Syria

As we were informed earlier this month by ynetnews in an article entitled "Report: Hezbollah leader being treated for heart attack" by Roi Kais, there were rumors throughout the Muslim Middle East that Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah suffered a heart attack or stroke. However, even if he did not suffer a heart attack, it is more than likely that Nasrallah was indeed admitted to the hospital with chest pains, owing to the stress he has been enduring.

Over the course of the past few days, Hezbollah has been trumpeting its "victory" over al-Nusra forces in the Qalamoun hills situated on the border between Lebanon and Syria (Hezbollah has not mentioned that it received combat intelligence during the battle from American drones). Nasrallah claimed that only 13 Hezbollah fighters were killed in the battle (the number is closer to 250). However, Hebollah's true casualties are a closely guarded secret: Many of its fighters are being buried in Syria, and their families are being told that they were involved in fatal automobile accidents. My "best guess" is that at least 1,500 Hezbollah fighters have died in Syria, and twice that number have been wounded. This represents an extraordinarily large percentage of Hezbollah's military wing and also places a significant financial burden upon the organization, which is obligated to support the families of its "martyrs."

Just how bad is the current situation for Hezbollah? As reported in an April 28, 2015 New York Times article entitled "An Eroding Syrian Army Points to Strain" by Anne Barnard, Hwaida Saad and Eric Schmitt:

"Hezbollah is not in a position to bail out Mr. Assad the way it did in 2013, when it sent hundreds of fighters to crush the insurgent hub of Qusayr, near the Lebanese border.

Hezbollah now has more fighters and advisers in Syria than ever, about 5,000, American intelligence officials said. But, said the Syrian with security connections, they “only interfere in areas that are in their own interests.”

The official sympathetic to Hezbollah said it has 'maybe thousands' of fighters along the Lebanese border [e.g., the Qalamoun Hills], hundreds in the south, bordering Israel, and only dozens around divided Aleppo, Syria’s largest city."

However, a better indication of the difficulties facing Hezbollah is to be found in the very recent pronouncements of Nasrallah, who earlier this week declared that Hezbollah is fighting an "existential battle" in Syria. Moreover, as reported by The Jerusalem Post in an article entitled "Nasrallah: Downfall of Assad would mean fall of Hezbollah":

"Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime must be preserved, as its collapse would mean the end of Hezbollah and the 'axis of resistance,' the Lebanese movement’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has said, according to a Lebanese paper close to the Islamic group.

He went on to assert that Assad would not be overthrown, but that it would not be possible for his forces to recover control over all of Syria.

Nasrallah was speaking on Thursday night during a meeting with Free Patriotic Movement party head Michel Aoun, a Christian leader and former Lebanese army chief allied with Hezbollah, Al-Akhbar reported on Tuesday."

Can Assad and Nasrallah survive? In fact, much depends upon whether Obama frees up some $50 billion of frozen Iranian bank accounts as a signing bonus to Khamenei for reaching a nuclear agreement with the P5+1 by the June 30 deadline. No small part of these funds will be used to support Iran's proxies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, i.e. Assad, Hezbollah and the Houthi rebels.

Obama, laboring to establish a presidential legacy by way of detente with Iran, is willfully ignoring Khamenei's duress to obtain these funds to finance Shiite dominion over the Middle East.

Stay tuned.

2 comments:

  1. #44 thinks ISIS can only be defeated by the Shi'a.

    And he somehow believes he is undoing what Eisenhower did, and undoing Reagan backing Saddam Iraq against Iran.

    #44 presides over a US Army recruitment ad that uses country instead of nation, for the generation who grew up in an America where they no longer pledge allegiance to the flag of "one nation" or had to take Civics in middle school.

    Such will be his presidential legacy...

    k

    ReplyDelete
  2. Do you think Obama reads the UK Guardian, which has better intel than CNN?

    "King Salman, who was formerly defence minister, is known to have railed against Barack Obama’s equivocation on Syria, especially his decision not to bomb Damascus in August 2013, after a sarin gas attack blamed on the Syrian regime. “That was the moment when we realised that our most powerful friend was no longer reliable,” the official said. “We had to step out from behind the curtain.”

    Within weeks of Salman being named king, a more assertive regional policy was evident. So, too, was a willingness to openly defy the US, a stance borne out of deep resentment at a deal brokered by Obama to compel Iran ...
    ...“They will spend their whole treasury to protect what they have,” said the official. “They are very open about it. The Revolutionary Guards say they will never compromise on Damascus and Hezbollah and they are the most powerful institution in the country. And now they want Yemen too. But this is a ploy. They will try to trade that with us in return for Damascus.” ...

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/24/syria-iran-isis-battle-arab-world?CMP=share_btn_tw

    ReplyDelete